Joan Kirner Young and Emerging Women Leaders Program

Rachel Toovey, PhD Student and casual staff member in Department of Physiotherapy, is one of 21 young Victorian women selected in the inaugural Joan Kirner Young and Emerging Women Leaders Program.

Twenty-one successful applicants were selected from over 280 applications across 6 areas that aligned with Joan Kirner's passions: education, environment, women's health, the western suburbs, indigenous women and culturally diverse women.

The program will help Rachel develop her leadership skills and networks, which she plans to use in her research to help improve the outcomes of children with disabilities and their families. Her Ph.D. is studying the development and testing of new approaches to training two-wheel bike riding skills in children with Cerebral Palsy (CP).

"It is a huge honour to be selected to the program," Rachel said. "I was thrilled to meet the other 20 young and emerging women leaders at the first two days of the program last week. A diverse group of women from many different fields of interest, experiences and perspectives - each woman is passionate about their field and inspiring to be around."

A true believer that each day is full of opportunities for acts of leadership, Rachel said she was constantly inspired by those around her at the University of Melbourne and MCRI. Grateful to all the women in her life who have supported her and stood up for what they believe in, Rachel was especially inspired by her Ph.D. supervisors (A/Professor Alicia Spittle, A/Professor Jennifer Mcginley and Dr Adrienne Harvey), her clinical and research colleagues, the families she works with and her Mum for the wonderful example they set.